Since a wedding ceremony in a church is first and foremost a worship service, it is very fitting to include hymns as part of your ceremony music.
Many wedding rites allow for the use of hymns at various points of the ceremony, often as the processional/recessional or interspersed with the readings. The lighting of the unity candle, if included in your wedding ceremony, is another appropriate point for a hymn.
Hymns can get guests involved
In more practical terms, a hymn offers a chance for the congregation, who in most wedding ceremonies are merely passive observers, to become involved in the ceremony.
By involving the congregation in this way, the communal aspect of Christian marriage is underscored: the man and woman who make their vows in a wedding ceremony are doing so in front of a local congregation that represents the entire Church on earth.
Watch out for this possible downside
But at the same time, remember that not everyone at most wedding services are members either of the congregation in which the service takes place or even of any church and so could be unfamiliar with even the concept of singing hymns.
The choice to include hymns in the service therefore ought to be made only after considering your guests’ backgrounds and comfort level with hymns. There is nothing worse than having no one sing when a hymn is played. If you determine that the majority of your guests would be comfortable in joining in singing a hymn (or two. . .or three. . .) then by all means include hymns in your service planning.
But otherwise, you can still include hymns in your service either in an instrumental arrangement with the text printed in the bulletin to guide the congregation’s devotions or possibly as a vocal solo. If you choose the latter, consult with your church’s music director for possible arrangements of particular hymns which are far too numerous in both quantity and quality to list here.
Lots of hymn ideas
Below is a list of several hymns whose texts would be appropriate for weddings. This list is by no means exhaustive nor do all the hymns listed occur in every denomination’s hymnal (and often there can be slight differences in names).
Consult with the music director of the church you are being married in for more selections or for guidance in what hymns would be most appropriate for that particular setting.
- Abide, O Dearest Jesus
- All People That on Earth Do Dwell
- Children of the Heavenly Father
- Christ Be My Leader
- Christ Is Our Cornerstone
- Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
- Forth in the Peace of Christ We Go
- Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go
- Go, My Children, with My Blessing
- Gracious Savior, Grant Your Blessing
- Great Is Thy Faithfulness
- Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah/Redeemer
- How Firm a Foundation
- I Bind unto Myself Today
- In Thee Is Gladness
- Jesus, Lead Thou On
- Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me
- Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus
- Lord, Help Us Walk Your Servant Way
- Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now
- Lord of All Hopefulness
- Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me
- Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels
- Now Thank We All Our God
- O Father, All Creating
- O God, My Faithful God
- O God, Our Help in Ages Past
- O Love, How Deep
- O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright
- Oh, Blest the House
- Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways
- On Eagles’ Wings
- Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
- Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
- The King of Love My Shepherd Is
- The Man Is Ever Blessed
- Thine Forever, God of Love
- What Wondrous Love Is This
Are there other hymns you’re thinking about using? Please leave a comment which, as always, is much appreciated!
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